Thursday, June 30, 2016

At Noon Central Today: Webcast Press Event -- At NASA/JPL, Regarding Juno's Jupiter Orbit Insertion

If this sort of fare isn't your cup of tea, do feel free to scroll on by -- but I'll tune in at noon, and again at 1 PM CDT, so you won't have to -- as it portends to be fascinating (at least to me!).

Here's a bit, from NASA:

. . . .During the evening of July 4, Juno will perform a suspenseful orbit insertion maneuver, a 35-minute burn of its main engine, to slow the spacecraft by about 1,212 miles per hour (542 meters per second) so it can be captured into the gas giant’s orbit. Once in Jupiter’s orbit, the spacecraft will circle the Jovian world 37 times during 20 months, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops. . . . providing new answers to ongoing mysteries about the planet’s core, composition and magnetic fields. . . .

At about 12:15 pm PDT today (2:15 p.m. CDT), mission controllers will transmit command product "ji4040" into deep space, to transition the solar-powered Juno spacecraft into autopilot. It will take nearly 48 minutes for the signal to cover the 534-million-mile (860-million-kilometer) distance between the Deep Space Network Antenna in Goldstone, California, to the Juno spacecraft. While sequence ji4040 is only one of four command products sent up to the spacecraft that day, it holds a special place in the hearts of the Juno mission team.

"Ji4040 contains the command that starts the Jupiter Orbit insertion sequence," said Ed Hirst, mission manager of Juno from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "As soon as it initiates -- which should be in less than a second -- Juno will send us data that the command sequence has started."

When the sequence kicks in, the spacecraft will begin running the software program tailored to carry the solar-powered, basketball court-sized spacecraft through the 35-minute burn that will place it in orbit around Jupiter.

"After the sequence executes, Juno is on autopilot," said Hirst. "But that doesn’t mean we get to go home. We are monitoring the spacecraft’s activities 24/7 and will do so until well after we are in orbit. . . ."

Also today, NASA announced a collaboration with Apple that will serve to enhance the agency's efforts to inform and excite the public about dramatic missions of exploration like Juno. "Destination: Juno" is a synergy between two seemingly disparate worlds: popular music and interplanetary exploration. The works resulting from this collaboration showcase exploratory sounds from artists who have been inspired by Juno and other NASA missions. . . .

Sailing right along now, entirely care-free, with one other copper colored, twisting shepherd moon-lette. Smile.

UPDATED: 1 PM CDT -- Apple has partnered with NASA/JPL and the Juno Mission team to create highly-inspired art -- music and videos, from the likes of the Oscar® winning duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (and with tracks from Corinne Bailey Rae, GZA, Jim James featuring Lydia Tyrell, QUIÑ, Weezer, Zoé and Brad Paisley) -- all of whom call young artists and scientists to the wonders of space exploration. Go see the full video at Apple Music. This trailer of it was released at the second briefing -- now underway, as of 1 PM CDT (the team will replay the full long form video at 4 PM EDT, on NASA TV):

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